24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
More Risks on School Playgrounds Linked to Happier ChildrenKids Face Their Own Death Risks When a Sibling DiesIn America's Poorest Communities, a Greater Risk of Child Abuse DeathsFDA Warns Against Children Taking Codeine, TramadolNext Seven Great Achievements in Pediatric Research PredictedMany Students Reluctant to Use Asthma Inhalers at SchoolDon't Give Kids Medicines With Codeine, Tramadol: FDAMany Kids Still Being Injured on ATVsHypnosis Doesn't Improve Post-Op Anxiety, Pain in ChildrenHealth Tip: Minimizing Violence During Screen TimeHealth Tip: Concerned About Your Child's Weight?What's the Best Seasonal Allergy Med for Your Kid?Web-Based Platform Better for Delivering Pre-Op InformationKids Can Pick Up Nicotine on Their HandsHealth Tip: Checking Your Child's MolesCould a Clinical Trial Help Your Child?Direct-Acting Antivirals Approved for Children 12+ With HCVWhen Families Lack Insurance, Kids' Dental Woes Rise10 Minutes of Sweat a Day Helps Kids' HeartsOutdoor Play May Foster Little EnvironmentalistsHealth Tip: Is Your Child Sleeping Enough?Red Cell Distribution Width Predicts Surgical ComplicationsFar Fewer Kids Are Dying Worldwide, but Gains Are UnevenVaccinating Pregnant Moms Protects Babies From Whooping CoughMost U.S. Kids Who Die From Flu Are UnvaccinatedCommon Post-Op Ear Drops Tied to Eardrum Perforations in KidsParents' Pot Use a Tricky Topic When It Comes to Their KidsHealth Tip: Help Your Child with Body ImageLead Exposure as Child, Lower IQ as Adult?Just 17 U.S. States Require Defibrillators in Some SchoolsMany Kids With Diabetes Missing Out on Eye Exams, Study FindsOlder Mothers May Raise Better-Behaved Kids, Study SuggestsHealth Tip: Check Your Child's TemperatureFruit Juice for Kids: A Serving a Day OK'Eraser Challenge' Latest Harmful Social Media Trend for Kids'Heads Up' Football Program Tackles Concussion Danger in KidsParents Don't Always Head to Child's Doctor When Illness StrikesSpring-Clean Your Medicine Cabinet to Safeguard Your KidsFewer U.S. Kids Overdosing on OpioidsWhy Some Kids Take Longer to Recover From Brain InjuryNearby Day Cares Don't Pose Health Risks to Kids: StudyObese Moms May Fail to Spot Obesity in Their Own KidsToo Much Screen Time May Raise Kids' Diabetes RiskHealth Tip: Help Kids Maintain Healthy CholesterolMite-Proof Bedding May Help Curb Asthma Attacks: StudyWatchful Waiting Cost-Effective for Pediatric Acute Otitis MediaHealth Tip: Make Sure Kids' Shoes Fit WellCity Tax on Cars Cut Pollution, Kids' Asthma RiskKidney Transplant Survival Up Among Babies, KidsSecondhand Smoke Linked to Food Allergies in Kids
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses
Child Development & Parenting: Infants (0-2)
Child Development & Parenting: Early (3-7)

8 Ways to Help Kids Dodge Germs

HealthDay News
by -- Robert Preidt
Updated: Feb 9th 2017

new article illustration

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- There are a number of ways parents can help give a boost to their child's immune system, a family doctor suggests.

"The immune system helps us fight infections," said Dr. Palak Shroff, a family medicine specialist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

"Immunity develops over time, so the more someone gets exposed, the more the immune system develops," Shroff explained in a center news release.

"Kids' whole environment is new, but over time, their immunity will develop and get better," she added.

Shroff suggested eight keys to helping children minimize their risk of catching every cold and virus that comes their way:

  • Breast-feeding is the first step. It is an important way to help your child develop a strong immune system. "During breast-feeding, the mother's immunity transfers to the child," Shroff said.
  • Vaccination is another crucial factor. Receiving all recommended vaccines prevents kids from catching potentially dangerous illnesses, such as whooping cough, measles, mumps, hepatitis and chicken pox. "All children over 6 months of age should get a flu shot. Sometimes small kids get the flu and that develops into pneumonia, then they struggle to get better for a long time," Shroff noted.
  • Offer kids a healthy diet. Parents should make sure children receive balanced meals with lots of fruits and vegetables. These foods contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are essential for the immune system.
  • Kids need sufficient sleep. If children aren't well-rested, their bodies lose their natural defense mechanisms and have a tougher time fighting off illness, Shroff said.
  • Physical activity is also important. Getting plenty of exercise promotes better blood circulation. This helps the lungs and heart work better, which boosts immunity, she added.
  • Teach children good hygiene. Remembering to wash their hands and cover their coughs are simple habits that even young children should be encouraged to develop.
  • Protect kids from cigarette smoke. Like any allergen, secondhand smoke will harm a child's immunity. Kids who are exposed to cigarette smoke on a regular basis tend to develop respiratory infections.
  • Avoid overuse of antibiotics. When these drugs are overused, bacteria can develop resistance to them. So when your child catches a bacterial illness that would normally be treated with an antibiotic, the treatment may not work. It's best to let most viral illnesses run their course, Shroff advised.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more about healthy living for kids.